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Lawyer but philanthropist?! Watch

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    Hey guys,

    Currently in year 13 hoping to study Law next year at Uni. I have a desire to become a solicitor but I also have a deep passion to become a philanthropist and create a foundation that supports education for girls.

    While there are options to go right into philanthropy and become a charity lawyer, I don't want to limit myself too much, if you know what I mean?

    Are there any specific modules in LLB that would help me acquire knowledge that would be useful in starting my foundation in the future? Or just skills in general that I would gain that would be beneficial in building my foundation?

    Thanks
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    (Original post by anabananax)
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    A philanthropist has to earn or inherit enough money to give away. Law would seem a decent way to earn well, if you can be outstanding at it. Working for a charity or a trust does not make you a philanthropist - the term is very tightly defined, legally at least. However, again, a law degree would be a very useful foundation in managing a trust for a philanthropist or becoming a trustee.

    If you want to create a foundation/trust without having the money yourself, then you have to be very persuasive. The most persuasive people tend to be the people n the frontline, ie if you want to raise money for research, get the (well rehearsed) researcher in front of the person with the money. bUt that means spending a career in expanding education for girls, and then leveraging your experience to campaign for a foundation.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    A philanthropist has to earn or inherit enough money to give away. Law would seem a decent way to earn well, if you can be outstanding at it. Working for a charity or a trust does not make you a philanthropist - the term is very tightly defined, legally at least. However, again, a law degree would be a very useful foundation in managing a trust for a philanthropist or becoming a trustee.

    If you want to create a foundation/trust without having the money yourself, then you have to be very persuasive. The most persuasive people tend to be the people n the frontline, ie if you want to raise money for research, get the (well rehearsed) researcher in front of the person with the money. bUt that means spending a career in expanding education for girls, and then leveraging your experience to campaign for a foundation.
    Right okay, you've given me a more practical understanding! Appreciated, thank you.
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    As has already been said, you do seem to misunderstand what philanthropy is, but that shouldn't detract from the fact that your ambition in relation to starting this foundation is truly admirable.

    The basic decision is whether you try to get directly into the charity sector, or whether you go into law with the intention of either moving into the charity sector at a later time, or using your money and/or influence from working as a lawyer to do charitable work. I have no experience of going straight into the charity sector, but you should be aware that a lot of charity work goes on in the legal sector. Both law firms and chambers, particularly the larger ones, do prominent charity work, and there would clearly be opportunities for you to influence that side of things through you work.

    There aren't really any specific LLB modules that I can think of off the top of my head that would help with this. Having drive is important, as is being personable and persuasive, because generally you either need to convince other people to help fund your initiative/foundation, or convince them to get involved in what you have organised. Clearly on a larger scale knowledge or experience both of working in business and of working specifically with charities would be useful, but I don't think there's really anything in a law degree that would help with that specifically.

    Best of luck however you end up going about this. As I said, your ambitions are admirable, and I really wish you every success with it.
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    If you are particularly interested in working as a solicitor in the field of Charities Law, the modules you should focus on during the LLB are as follows:

    (1) Equity and Trusts - There are often trusts involved in this sector and charities lawyers often sit with the private client department of city law firms.
    (2) Company Law - You need to have a good understanding of corporate structures and corporate governance. Charities are under much more of a spotlight with regards to corporate governance issues than traditional businesses.
    (3) Contract Law - Charities often have quite complicated funding structures and shareholders agreement.

    I am corporate lawyer but have ended up doing some charities work recently, for no particular reason other than I set up a corporate structure for one charity and one thing led to another.

    The firms that do charities law tend to be quite specific. It isn't something every firm does.

    Whether being a solicitor in this very specific field helps you reach your end goals is another issue entirely. I'm not sure being a charities lawyer would necessarily help you set-up a charitable foundation.
 
 
 
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